The Best Years of Our Lives

bestyears_poster1946, Dir. William Wyler

I’ll never know what life was like for the greatest generation after World War II but this film is a snapshot of the difficulties of post-war readjustment. The film centers on the return of three servicemen (Fredric March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell) and that journey. Russell, a veteran in real life who lost both his hands on duty, cements his place in film history in his only major film role with his powerful performance. Clocking in at almost three hours, it’s an emotional epic that shows the damages of war don’t end on the battlefield.

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